Poster Condition & Grading
The beauty of a vintage poster is that a piece of history and memories of times past have been preserved, even as our world continues to race towards a digital future. Most of our collection is decades, if not over a century old, printed for a limited use and ephemeral in nature; they were not meant to last. While many are in near mint condition and have been beautifully preserved over the decades, others may have some damage and show some wear. Some of our posters have been professionally preserved or restored if necessary, which will be noted in the description.
Please note that many of our posters will have at least two images, a main image which highlights the graphics, and a second image that will always show the entire poster. You can zoom in on any image to view the condition in greater detail. We're also happy to send you additional photo close ups of any posters, just let us know!
We us a widely recognized 6 scale system to grade our posters.
MINT- A poster in mint condition looks like it just came off of the press. It will have no blemishes or defects of any kind. It can be folded or rolled, depending on the original packing method (most movie posters were sent folded).
NEAR MINT- A poster in near mint condition may have minor imperfections in the border only. The artwork is in excellent condition with no blemishes whatsoever.
VERY GOOD- A poster in very good condition may have blemishes in the border and up to approximately one inch of the poster's artwork. There may be small tears in the artwork along the fold lines only. It may also have minor fading. In general, a poster in very good condition may show some wear and often will project a subtle classic vintage vibe without detracting from the artwork.
GOOD- A poster in good condition may have tears or small holes that measure no larger than a quarter on the outer edges of the poster's artwork. Pieces of the border may be torn or missing or have holes; there may be mild bleed-through in the outer area of the artwork; there may be mild fading. In general, a poster in good condition will have minor blemishes around the border and into the outer edges of the artwork. The major area of the artwork will be clear of any blemishes. Some people actually prefer this type of poster, which definitely shows some age and character.
FAIR- A poster in fair condition may have major blemishes that directly affect the artwork of the poster. The poster is recognizable and the artwork is primarily intact. A poster in fair condition can benefit from professional restoration.
POOR- Posters in poor condition will have serious blemishes or tears or in such poor shape that even the slightest handling might add to the damage. In many cases, a poster in this condition should be professionally restored.
Linen Backing & Restoration
Some of our posters have been preserved and archived using a method referred to as "linen backing" or "mounted on linen". This is an archival process where the poster has been professionally cleaned, de-acidified, mounted on archival paper and affixed to a high quality artist canvas using a gentle wheat paste. The materials used are reversible, and the process is recognized throughout the industry as a safe and effective way to stabilize and preserve valuable posters.
Occasionally, restoration work is also completed to reduce wrinkles, repair tears and missing sections, or to remove stains.